Monday, May 10, 2010

So Much For Pink Bats

Bleh, I’ve been putting off writing about this one, but I suppose I ought to. If you look at the raw numbers, you might start to panic about Max Scherzer, but I thought he looked better than he did against the Twins even though the final line wasn’t pretty. Only the Marte triple and the Grudzielanek single were hit hard (along with one or two others that didn’t figure into the scoring). The walks were not good, but two of the runs scored on infield singles, and the eventual go-ahead run reached on an infield single that probably should have been an out (there was also a stolen base in the 4-run second that turned out to be big). If there’s anything that puzzles me, it’s that the strikeout totals seem kinda low for someone we were promised was a high-K guy. Meanwhile, the bullpen just has to not walk people, plain and simple.

On the other end of the scale, Mitch Talbot was not exactly dominant, but he continued to supposedly overperform. I noted that he’s actually a lot tougher on lefties in his brief career, and I believe the only thing any of the Tigers’ lefties/switch-hitters did was walk. I’m actually more bummed that they didn’t do anything against the Indians’ bullpen.

By the way, congratulations are in order for Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics, who threw a perfect game yesterday. It was the first time I was able to watch part of a perfect game as it happened. And it was very exciting.

The Tigers are back in Detroit to begin quite a grueling homestand. First up, the Yankees are in town for four. And we’re not quite starting things off very promisingly. I was all set to write about how tonight would be a big test for Dontrelle Willis (given that this is the longest stretch of consistency we’ve seen from him and the Yankees are a very patient team). Unfortunately, D-Train has a 102-degree fever, and it seems like Brad Thomas is gonna be Jim Leyland’s spot starter of choice this season. Thomas hasn’t been lights-out, but he’s been better recently (and calling up someone from Toledo probably was not an option because the Mud Hens are in Durham tonight and they probably would not have been able to fly someone-likely scheduled starter Phil Dumatrait-up in time). For all intents and purposes, the Yankees have not seen Thomas (okay, Randy Winn is 0-for-2 against him, but that was so long ago it probably doesn’t count). However, the Yankees are starting a long reliever of their own in Sergio Mitre (because they were going to start Javier Vazquez, but Andy Pettitte is missing a start so Vazquez got pushed until tomorrow). I’ve seen Mitre before, when he was a starter for the Marlins. He’s a sinkerballer, and apparently he was good enough in 2006/2007 that they have a jersey giveaway night for him. He’s been beset with injuries the past couple years. Miguel Cabrera and Adam Everett are the only two Tigers who have seen him before (Cabrera’s 1-5, Everett is 2-5). And for those of you wanting to see Curtis Granderson, he’s on the DL with a groin injury and didn’t make the trip, so that particular reunion will be delayed a bit. Also, there will be an emotional tribute to Ernie Harwell prior to the start of the game. Bring the Kleenex.

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